Day Fifteen in Finland: Student Living

15 Sep

Things I love about my apartment block: the sauna upstairs. Things I hate: being halfway up the stairs and getting plunged into darkness.

The lights are timed and once you hit the switch they only stay on for a couple of minutes.Often there is someone close to the light switch who flicks it back on, but other times I have to carefully make my way to the top, keeping the light of the switch in view.

Aside from that, there are very few negative comments that I have about the place!

The Yliopistokatu apartments are right across from the university and are surrounded by trees and wide cycle paths. My apartment was refurbished 2002 – 2003 and it looks relatively nice on the outside and inside – clean floors, a working lift and a laundry room on the ground floor. The doorbells are a little odd, they are like the bells you find on reception desks that you ring to get someone’s attention. Often I can’t tell if it’s my bell that’s being rung or next door’s.

Inside the kitchen in very small, partially because I share with only one other person and partially because the lunches are so cheap on campus that everyone expects you to eat your main meal there. It’s roughly 2 euros 70 for a main meal, as much salad as you like, three slices of bread and a glass of milk/water/juice. The food’s not bad either. Very hearty and very warming, perfect for a cold day!

Above the sink we have a handy drying cupboard, which is like a washing up rack but it’s tucked away neatly so that the drying dishes don’t take up any extra space. The real downside is the lack of cupboard space, and I have to keep my food on a shelf in my wardrobe, but there’s a really big fridge-freezer which kind of makes up for that.

My bedroom is very large, much bigger than my own at home, and painted white, with a large window – presumably to combat the dark, cold, depressing winter days. The view is of trees and the local kindergarten. In the daytime I can hear the children laughing and playing, all wrapped up in their winter snow suits already.

Right around the corner there are three (yes three!) supermarkets, a pizza place, a post office and a craft/stationary homeware shop. I believe there is also a pharmacist. They speak English in the post office, so once you’re here you can go and ask for a form to register your address (apparently this is important if you want mail, but I’m not sure how true it is because I’ve received two letters already) and send some souvenirs home. I bought my nephew a ‘I heart Suomi’ bodysuit and a Moomin book and my sister a Moomin tin from the local supermarket.

About a fifteen minute walk away there are is also a Prisma, a hypermarket with everything from tvs to skis, another food place, a bank and a gas station.

Perfect location!

Update: I totally forgot to mention another perk of the place: you can do your laundry AND drying for free! All you need to buy is the detergent/fabric softener/whatever you choose to do your laundry with. No more waiting around for machines  either: you simply log onto to OmaPSOAS and book your washing machine and dryer. Brilliant!


6 Responses to “Day Fifteen in Finland: Student Living”

  1. Katariina Partala September 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Woooow, are you studying abroad in Oulu?? That’s awesome! What do you think of Linnanmaa? I used to live around there, but moved away about a month ago, so I’m curious to hear your opinion about Oulu :p

    • saramay91 September 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      Hey! Are you from Oulu originally? I think the Linnanmaa area is great, you have everything you need for the essentials and I love being to close to the university. I haven’t explored enough of Oulu, but so far I’ve really enjoyed my time here – I love the character of the place. Maybe you can recommend some places to see/eat/get coffee in town?

  2. Katariina Partala September 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Yup, I was born in Oulu and lived there for 17 years… So if you have any questions, I might be able to answer them :p
    I think there are not thaaaat many places to see in Oulu, at least now when it’s cold and rainy. What a pity you didn’t see Oulu in the summer, because that’s the best season there.. At least in my opinion!
    My favorite restaurant is “Pannukakkutalo” that is in the southern part of the market square (Aittatori 9, I believe)… They sell all types of pancakes which is just awesome if you happen to be a fan of sweet stuff! But as for places for hanging out and such, most locals spend time at Stockmann which is in the city centre. Especially the café on the 1st floor is nice, and probably one of the busiest places in Oulu. Coffee House at Kirkkokatu 15 is also very nice, at least on Fridays 🙂

    • saramay91 September 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

      Kiitos, I’ll be sure to check them out! =)
      I just checked out your blog too, I look forward to following your journey in Helsinki, I hope it goes well =)

  3. Katariina Partala September 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    No prob, I’m just glad to help!
    And thanks!! I’m just beginning my journey, but it’s been good so far 🙂
    I just read your new post, and I have to say something…. If you think Prisma was busy on a Saturday, you should try it on a Saturday before Christmas!!!!!

    • saramay91 September 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

      Also feel free to correct me if I get anything wrong 😉

      Haha! Thanks for the head’s up!

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